This post was written by Darrel Current, a talented teen blogger at Nation Reversed. He is a Christian homeschooler with an all-consuming passion to live for Christ in every part of life. He sees his writing as a ministry to others and his mission is to become a missionary when he gets out of college (or sooner). In his leisure time, he enjoys running, music, and spending time outdoors.
The question I am tasked with answering is, What does it look like to live wholeheartedly for Christ as a youth? Now, I can’t fully answer this question for the same reason I can’t properly answer the question of what it’s like being a twin: I don’t know what it’s like not being one. With that in mind, though, I will still do my best to describe how it is that I live my life. Maybe we’ll all learn something.
First off, as in all other pursuits of value, it’s not going to be easy. God has not called us to an easy life here on this earth. There will be times when we are persecuted or mocked for our faith, but we need to look beyond that. This is not our home, so why do we seek to be comfortable here?
Living wholeheartedly for Christ as a youth is really a lot like living all for Him at any other age. We are still called to live out our faith fearlessly, love tirelessly, and be joyful. The way this actually looks in our life may be a little different, however. We are still dependent on those older than us, especially parents, for food, shelter, and good, godly teaching.
A large portion of our time is spent at school and other activities (or, if you’re homeschooled, at home and other activities). This gives us more direct contact with others our age, opportunities adults are not always presented with. This gives us a bigger area to witness, but it also presents us with a lot of peer pressure and temptations. We have constant pressures from all around us to act differently or to try out that cool new trend. Living as a bold Christian in this environment can be difficult, especially if the majority of those around us don’t care to understand.
One point rather exclusive to teens is, well, that we’re teens. We’re too young to be considered wise or fully capable adults, yet we are still capable of complex thought, tough life experiences, and driving passions. As a result of this, one challenge fiery Christian youth face is simply the low expectations placed on them by those older than them.
How do we do it then? How do we live wholeheartedly for Christ as a youth in the face of all of these challenges, both those unique to youth and those that challenge all Christians?
In short, don’t be afraid. So often as youth we are afraid to stand out. We’re afraid to look weird. We’re afraid to be excluded by our friends, and we’re afraid to lose them. We’re afraid that no one would listen to us if we spoke up, and we’re afraid that we’d mess up if we did. We are afraid.
But why are we? What reason do we have to fear? As Fyodor Dostoevsky once said, “Avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie.” Fear is just a lie. One we choose to believe over and over again. But we know the One who is greater than fear, the One who conquered death. The greatest freedom we can experience is when we finally let go of our fear and live our life boldly. It’s not going to be easy, but if we let go of our fear, we can truly live wholehearted for Him.